Yesterday I had the opportunity to talk about Relational Leadership to a group of seasoned pastors (who all oversee paid staff). While very few youth workers have the opportunity to lead a paid staff, most have the privilege of leading volunteers and can definitely set their sights on being a relational leader (all that to say—I thought of you and figured you might be able to glean something from this post).

It’s my observation that the busier the leader, the less he/she has the space to genuinely care for people they work with and their leadership slowly (and often unknowingly) morphs into a transactional leadership.

Relational leader: “I care for you as a person. I want to help you win.”
Transactional leader: “I want you to do this for me. I need to win.”

Below are some questions that might be worthy of your time and reflection. It’s my experience that a leader will tend to think a little deeper when they can slow down and make time to reflect and evaluate. I find that many church leaders are intentional about the doing (maybe even overly strategic), but they give little intentional value to the slowing down and reflecting segment that is required of good leaders.

Here are 10 questions to get you thinking about your own leadership emphasis.

1. How might I build in space for rest and reflection?
2. Is it possible to lead a ministry and create a rhythm for myself and my team that’s sustainable?
3. Am I personally leading out of having space (margin) in my life?
4. Can I be refreshed and energized at the current pace that I’m living?
5. Am I creating space for my team to love one another and consider the spiritual needs of our target audience?
6. What is required of me as a leader to help others win?
7. Can spiritual formation and leadership development go together?
8. Am I using people to get tasks accomplished or am I developing them to trust Jesus, follow Jesus, and reflect Jesus?
9. I may not be able to set the vision for the church, but I can set the values of how I’m going to treat and lead people.
10. Am I genuinely excited for the success of the leaders I oversee?

I hope you’ll find some time to honestly answer these questions and think deeply about your leadership style.